Paraglider vs. Eagle.
October 31, 2011 2:59 PM   Subscribe

This is why a prefer being under a canopy with a cutaway handle.
posted by Dean358 (62 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
That is truly insane - amazing that they both ended up undamaged - I was sure the eagle was going to end up with a broken wing and the paraglider would end up torn up as well. Do you know any more about this?
posted by leslies at 3:13 PM on October 31, 2011


Amazing that they both lived!
posted by Cranberry at 3:14 PM on October 31, 2011


Way to keep calm, dude.

Can anybody translate the Russian?
posted by hal_c_on at 3:16 PM on October 31, 2011


Is there some kind of eagle equivalent to the deer whistle and if not can I patent that invention?
posted by quadog at 3:16 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy shit.
posted by Sternmeyer at 3:20 PM on October 31, 2011


And wow! Hey! What's this thing coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding word like... ow... ound... round... ground! That's it! That's a good name - ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me?
posted by The Tensor at 3:24 PM on October 31, 2011 [31 favorites]


Did he get an emergency chute or canopy opened up or was that more or less a freefall? I'm guessing from the lateral movement at the end and the lack of vertical wind on the primary canopy he had a backup chute that he deployed, but it's really hard to tell. I didn't see any new risers/cords, nor a second chute tangling with him on impact.

Also, just about every dream/nightmare I've had about flying where I've fallen out of the sky feels pretty much exactly like this. "Oh, fuck. This isn't good. Forgot to keep forgetting I can't fly. Yep, there's the ground. And trees. Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck." *THUD* "Ow."
posted by loquacious at 3:25 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can anybody translate the Russian?
posted by hal_c_on

Holy shit.
posted by Sternmeyer


That probably gets you most of the way there.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:27 PM on October 31, 2011 [14 favorites]


You can see the shadow of his parachute shortly before he lands.
posted by leslies at 3:31 PM on October 31, 2011


Holy shit is right. In Soviet Russia ground jumps on you like eagle. Or something.

(BTW, I wonder if there isn't a cleaner source out there? That break.com site is damn spammy. Just saying.)
posted by spitbull at 3:31 PM on October 31, 2011


Did he get an emergency chute or canopy opened up or was that more or less a freefall?

He tosses the reserve chute at about 0:45 - blue and yellow with his right hand off to the right.
posted by jimmythefish at 3:34 PM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey, this reminds me of a time when I was paragliding and got an eagle stuck in my chute.
posted by Cerulean at 3:34 PM on October 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


loquacious: paraglider pilots wear a round reserver parachute, which is thrown out by hand in an emergency. You can see he goes to his emergency procedures and deploys the reserve at around :46 seconds into the video.
posted by Dean358 at 3:34 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


(BTW, I wonder if there isn't a cleaner source out there? That break.com site is damn spammy. Just saying.)

Yeah, I swapped it for a youtube link. No biggie, Dean358, just better to go with a more direct or less crufty page for the link where possible.
posted by cortex at 3:45 PM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now that I know that he is throwing a reserve chute, I am amazed that he tosses it off and immediately goes back to trying to free the eagle. That is some serious trust in your equipment.
posted by sacrifix at 3:46 PM on October 31, 2011


Dean358: paraglider pilots wear a round reserver parachute

In addition it is strongly recommended that paragliders also carry a set of reserve tighty whities. This guy probably needed a change of underwear... I know I would...
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:46 PM on October 31, 2011


tnx cortex!
posted by Dean358 at 3:47 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eagle is all like "WTF STRINGS NET IN MIDAIR WTF WTF fuck it, ya got me, I'm dead. ... you broke my brain."
posted by The otter lady at 3:54 PM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


> That is some serious trust in your equipment.

I suspect he already trusted it with his life when he jumped off the side of a mountain.
posted by ardgedee at 4:01 PM on October 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


My favorite part is after he's on the ground and he yells "I'm okay! I'm fine!" And then, as it truly hits him: "I'M! FINE!"
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:06 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think you accidentally a word in the post.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:06 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love hearing his buddy on the radio laughing at him.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:12 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a good friend that flies paragliders at Torrey Pines and he's always flying with birds, sometimes in close proximity. Fortunately, they're all riding the same consistent lift, so collisions like this are once in a blue moon.

Incredibly bad luck to have the bird get tangled so badly that it caused the canopy to collapse. He's seen collisions with much heavier and dangerous R/C gliders that didn't result in a crash like this, so it must have been a combination of bad timing (he was probably braking or turning at the time) and the tangly bits of the bird.

I'm going to start insisting he wears a backup chute from now on, though.
posted by Awakened at 4:16 PM on October 31, 2011


Reminds me of this one from a few years ago. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the raw video without the newscaster commentary.
posted by dobbs at 4:17 PM on October 31, 2011


Of course if it had been Vladimir Putin paragliding, he would have climbed up the ropes and cut the bird free before landing safely at the intended target without needing a backup chute. And then healed an orphan.
posted by ardgedee at 4:19 PM on October 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised the eagle didn't freak out and maul him (maybe it was in shock?). I would *not* want to be tied to an eagle.
posted by uosuaq at 4:19 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


How strange - despite the fact that I understand that for the first several minutes I am yelling "LET THE DAMN BIRD GO ALREADY" at a video, there's still some small part of my brain that insists on contending that it might work better if I knew how to speak Russian.
posted by Flunkie at 4:26 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was thinking the same thing, flunkie, but more to the point I was like "where's your knife? That bag contains a knife, right? OK, now you're looking for your knife? You...you play with enormous amounts of string and you don't carry a knife?"
posted by maxwelton at 4:42 PM on October 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


> the eagle didn't freak out and maul him

The mind of an eagle is unknown, but imagine, by snatching the eagle out of the sky and bringing it to ground, the human bird showed itself stronger than the eagle (since this is exactly what eagles do to weaker birds). The eagle, pwned, knew it was no match so sought to flee as the least dangerous option.
posted by stbalbach at 4:42 PM on October 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


I visited a raptor center several months ago -- there were a few eagles there that had been injured, usually after being hit by cars or trucks (no paraglider injuries that I recall). They couldn't fly, so you were able to get pretty close. After seeing a few of those eagles so closely, I can definitely say that I would not want to be face-to-face with one that is angry. They are enormous. The beak. The talons. They are huge

If I came across a wounded eagle -- it would take me a LONG time before I would approach it. Also, if I survived a parachute accident, it would take a LONG time before I would move. This clip is what you call being lost in the moment. This guy, just pops up, and without really dwelling on the fact that he just survived that, goes to work freeing an enormous eagle. There is even a moment where he grabs that one cord and is sorta holding the talon and the bird is just looking at the ground and gets very calm, because he is also thinking how the F is this possibly happening right now. It just seems like you would never just grab an eagle's talon or pop after a parachute crush, unless you and the eagle just happened to both miraculously survive a parachute accident.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 4:43 PM on October 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ditto maxwelton. The whole time he was trying to free the bird, I was yelling at the screen "WHERE'S YOUR F@*$ING KNIFE? WHY DON'T YOU CARRY A KNIFE?!"

But then the bird seemed fine, so I stopped yelling at the screen.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:48 PM on October 31, 2011


The lines on a paraglider canopy are really, really thick. Even if you were willing to destroy the lines to free the bird you'd need a serious tool to cut them. Certainly not a knife small enough to carry with you in the air.
posted by Dean358 at 4:54 PM on October 31, 2011


Do paragliders really not have cutaway handles?
posted by jeffburdges at 5:18 PM on October 31, 2011


Which Paraglider Hook Knife? - Paragliding Tales and Reviews
One last scenario, you'll need a paraglider hook knife if there is any chance of a water landing. Have a think about it! Here's some specific advice on how to carry ...

I'm also reminded of a story told by an Air Force figher pilot who was flying with a buddy ahead of him along the White Mountains (California/Nevada) at upwards of 13,000 feet and saw the guy ahead of him suddenly stand the jet on its tail and go about straight up with a yell of surprise; he came on the radio and said he'd almost hit some huge bird.

Second pilot, alerted, didn't hit the hang gliders either as he blew by.

He said there's about half a second between seeing and reacting at those speeds.

I noticed that was a pair of eagles and thought, ah, mating season? Who's watching the sky?
posted by hank at 5:19 PM on October 31, 2011


I found it funny that they bleeped him. I wonder if he was swearing in Russian too. If so that clip could have been educational.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:22 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


That eagle don't speak a word of Russian, does it?
posted by goethean at 5:33 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to the notes on the youtube it was a griffon vulture - from the linked wiki maybe a juvenile bird.
posted by leslies at 5:44 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Keep calm and carry on.
posted by punkfloyd at 6:17 PM on October 31, 2011


From the youtube comments,

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
In Soviet Russia, eagles hunt you!

posted by Blasdelb at 6:24 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just trying to imagine what was going through the eagle's head,

OO Food, everything this high is food!
Looks new and interesting
and big, more food!
WAIT SHIT

posted by Blasdelb at 6:29 PM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mostly he was saying (very rough translation) "fuck you you fucking piece of shit cunt eagle ... I'll fight YOU", multiply that by 50, and the rest was describing (rather calmly) what is happening to his buddies.
posted by rainy at 6:36 PM on October 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah that is a vulture.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:53 PM on October 31, 2011


I'm surprised the vulture wasn't biting at him as he was trying to untangle the wing. Apart from the freak-out as he flew off, it was really calm (shock, maybe?).

Anyway, it's amazing when you take a second to think about how the Internet allows us to experience this small slice of life in such a vivid, first-hand way.
posted by codacorolla at 7:12 PM on October 31, 2011


jeffburdges: Nope. Unlike skydiving gear, paraglider canopies have no cutaway mechanism to release the canopy from the pilot. In an emergency the reserve is simply thrown out in addition to the main canopy to "get more fabric over your head."

hank: somewhat of a debate about those hook knives. I wear one shown in that link on my skydiving rig, and I can tell you I would have tough time cutting one of my skydiving lines with it, let alone a paraglider line which is much thicker and stronger.
posted by Dean358 at 7:41 PM on October 31, 2011


NSFW If your boss speaks Russian, or is an eagle.
posted by schmod at 8:00 PM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah. Yeah yeah. Saw a paraglider go down hard (short of the landing field, onto the highway) during the Qu-Appelle Classic in Saskatchewan and was glad to be doing the hang gliding thing, as nifty and compact as those paragliders can be.

Fixed wings are your friends.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:04 PM on October 31, 2011


They are enormous. The beak. The talons. They are huge

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch.
posted by stebulus at 8:05 PM on October 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lovecraft was right. Nature absolutely doesn't fucking care about us mortals.

Glad he walked away from that.
posted by bardic at 8:38 PM on October 31, 2011


"Anyway, it's amazing when you take a second to think about how the Internet allows us to experience this small slice of life in such a vivid, first-hand way."

I know! This is an incredible thing. The sort of thing I never would have imagined, but have now seen first-hand thanks to this guy's video camera. Viva Internet!

So glad they both survived without injury.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:57 PM on October 31, 2011


I read somewhere that most raptors don't know they can use their beaks to attack, they only know how to use their talons and only when attacking from above. The exception to this rule is the peregrine falcon.
posted by exhilaration at 7:16 AM on November 1, 2011


If that's a vulture, it deserves extra points for its attempted, proactive carrion creation effort.
posted by looli at 7:23 AM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I understood a lot of that language. The bleeped out part. I don't care what language you speak, you hear those bleeps in a video and it's pretty much universally understood, isn't it?
posted by caution live frogs at 7:32 AM on November 1, 2011


[bleep] сука!
posted by Kabanos at 7:56 AM on November 1, 2011


Angry Birds is WAY more intense in real life.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:15 AM on November 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


So this article has some details. Scroll down for a translation of the audio - don't have any idea how accurate.
posted by leslies at 11:58 AM on November 1, 2011


So huge, so fucking awesome eagle! Guys, I'm stroking a huge eagle!

Indeed.
posted by codacorolla at 12:04 PM on November 1, 2011


Yes, translation there (at telegraph link) is accurate, although russian curse words don't translate easily into english. For example, 'bitch' is completely non-gender specific, and slightly stronger than in english (but you could really write a book on russian curses and how they compare to english ones). It's fair to say he was cursing all the way through and using rather crude language to boot, totally nsfw unless you work on long shore (like on the docks or something).
posted by rainy at 12:16 PM on November 1, 2011


(but you could really write a book on russian curses and how they compare to english ones).

Didn't languagehat already do that?
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:02 PM on November 1, 2011


If he did, I'll have to buy it - it's a fascinating topic! I love curses.. I'm very polite but I just love them.
posted by rainy at 3:14 PM on November 1, 2011


How does he get down from the mountain now? I declare that sport to be full of danger and hard work, even without huge birds.
posted by Soulfather at 9:12 PM on November 1, 2011


Dude fell from the sky and walked away unhurt.
posted by rahnefan at 7:42 AM on November 2, 2011


*Russian word* bleep! *Russian word* bleep! *Russian word* long-ass bleep!
posted by dirigibleman at 8:18 AM on November 2, 2011


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